If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice and last Monday, it was clear the people of Trinidad responded to our leaders by not speaking.
The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), assisted by the Canadian High Commission and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), held consultations with the main political parties from Monday to yesterday on issues including the imposition of spending limits on party (and candidate) campaign expenditures. An EBC release stated that was the second wave of consultations in connection with the registration and funding of political parties following a national symposium last December.
Parties included the United National Congress (UNC), Congress of the People (COP), People’s National Movement (PNM), Tobago Organisation for the People (TOP), National Joint Action Committee (NJAC), Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) and Independent Liberal Party (ILP). Their views were also ascertained on the establishment of a legal requirement to register political parties, the imposition of limits on contributions to political parties and candidates and their sources.
Discussions also focused on implementation of public divulgation of reports on both expenditures and contributions and the investigative and prosecutorial powers required to give effect to those measures as an aid to the drafting of legislative proposals for submission to Government, according to an EBC release. Jean-Pierre Kingsley, who held the office of Chief Electoral Officer of Canada from 1990 to 2007, and who was also a former president of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and currently a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa, facilitated the consultations.